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Letters to the Editor

Think about it

A question: Do you think that if only one of our “elite” political parties in America put the American taxpayer first that we would be in the position this country is in now? Open borders, inflation, $33 trillion in debt, rising crime, on and on and on.
P.S. How do politicians get rich while the rest of us get poorer?

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Mark S. Ritter


No to a Boulevard subway

I read the recent article in the NE Times concerning the extension of the Broad Street Subway. The article does not discuss the crime problem in Philadelphia. I am a senior. I can ride the subway line for free. I will not do so, because of the safety issue. I bet many thousands of us feel the same way. The article noted a state bill will allow additional taxation of citizens to pay for this. Given inflation, the massive real estate tax increase and utility increases — do you think the public wants “another” tax put on its shoulders? I suggest that until Philadelphia politicians come to grip with their long-term, anti-police attitude, we should table this project. Many people will not ride an unsafe subway extension. Secondly, if this is such a good idea, why do they need to force citizens to pay for it? Find a way to finance it, and pay back the debt with added SEPTA revenue when the extension is complete. I suspect, given increased system operating costs and probable lack of riders, they anticipate no added revenue.

Richard Iaconelli


A subway? No way

They can dig a tunnel, but they can’t dig for oil?
City Council wants a subway on Roosevelt Boulevard, proclaiming, “a rapid transit system Philadelphia has been waiting 110 years for.”
I say it’s 110 years too late, maybe if it was built back in 1913, when the Boulevard was rural with farmlands and pastures way before the corporate buildings. commercial businesses and strip malls that line the Boulevard now.
They’re talking about a subway that’s going to stretch a distance of 10-plus miles from Erie Avenue to Neshaminy Mall, a mall that’s been vacated and killed by online shopping.
This is not your laying down tracks across flat, open Midwest plains during the Transcontinental Railroad of 1863. We’re talking about an underground railroad 10 or so miles long to tunnel.
The Lincoln Tunnel is 1.5 miles long. The Holland Tunnel is 1.6 miles long.
But to build a bizarre 10-mile subway that requires “digging, excavating, tunneling, dredging” under paved streets, bedrock, sewer and power lines, that’s going to disrupt residents, businesses and the daily commute to thousands in the Northeast.
Let’s not forget that Roosevelt Boulevard is one of the busiest highways second to I-95, and it took almost 30 years to finagle the work on I-95, and it’s still not done.
But according to the planners, the subway will accommodate “an estimated 100k daily riders into town.”
How about the estimated 100k or so vehicles that travel Roosevelt Boulevard each day, how is that to accommodate the flow of traffic when all this engineering work, tunneling, station construction and track laying is taking place?
I guess traffic will be detoured to an already congested and much narrower residential Bustleton Avenue for 100k cars to travel during rush hour every day.
Also consider the mess when and if it coincides at the same time with the Byberry bridge reconstruction that is also on the proposal timeline.
Councilman Mike Driscoll proudly said that anything is possible, while boasting that the fire that caused the collapse of a section on I-95 back in June was repaired in 12 days.
He expects this subway project to be a piece of cake compared to patching a sinkhole.
How about City Council utilize what we already have in place, the Amtrak Northeast corridor that runs parallel to I-95.
This project is a far-fetched, Timothy Leary-induced pipe dream, whipped up by delusional individuals, 110 years too late.
This is nothing more than wasting billions of dollars of our tax money when it could be used for providing much-needed crime prevention to stop the crime sprees that literally drove people away and businesses out from Center City.
Why not prioritize making the city safer and enjoyable first by enforcing the law and arrests against the looting, flash mobs and the smash and grabs.
The city has trouble enough to secure against the knifings and the killings on the El, let alone to provide ample security for a 10-mile subway from Erie to Neshaminy.
Building a stupid subway to bring people into the crime-infested city is not the answer, maybe for a quick getaway for the looters out of the city after their smash and grabs, but certainly not in.
Concerned citizens of the Northeast, petition to “Stop The Dig.”

Al Ulus


We need a fair judicial system

Yet another exoneration in Philadelphia — the 40th in six years — raises an interesting question: Does Philadelphia have a wrongful conviction crisis?  

As a civil rights lawyer who, over more than a decade, has advocated on behalf of victims of police abuse and the falsely accused, I believe the answer is “yes.”

Eddie Ramirez’ exoneration on Nov. 30 is attention-grabbing, and for good reason: He spent his entire adult life incarcerated. That is an immeasurable loss, not only for him and his family, but for what he could have contributed to his community.

While not all of Philadelphia’s wrongfully convicted suffered as long as Mr. Ramirez, a pattern is emerging across these cases: misconduct. Evidence was withheld from Mr. Ramirez’ defense attorneys — the prosecutor at the time indicated it may have been deliberate. The same day, others who were victims of the now-notorious Detective Nordo were exonerated. A scandal involving half a dozen narcotics officers a decade ago led to hundreds, if not thousands, of convictions overturned, preceded by a similar scandal in the mid-’90s. The list goes on.

If we value public safety, then we must value public confidence in the fairness of the judicial system. Rampant corruption and misconduct erode that confidence. And that, too, is an immeasurable loss.

Christopher Markos

Williams Cedar LLC

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